Local TV Station Addresses Security Issues After Virginia Shooting [YouTube]
Following the fatal shooting of two Virginia TV station employees by a disgruntled ex-employee, KGVO News contacted our television news partners at NBC Montana about security for their reporters in the field.
Executive News Director for NBC Montana, Julie Weindel, said she has always been concerned about the security of her news teams in her more than 30 years in television news.
"It is not something we take lightly," Weindel said. "I've been in this business for 38 years, most of that in news, and we constantly tell reporters and camera crews 'there is no story worth your safety.' If they feel like they are threatened, they need to leave and call the police."
Weindel said violence against reporters has occurred in markets both large and small.
"Reporters in markets all across the country have been robbed", she said. "In California, one crew was robbed. They were shooting a story and someone came up and stole their camera equipment right off the street.TV news crews do get threatened when they're out on the street doing a story. Not here, but in my experience, I've had to call the police several times to send them out to where my reporters are to make sure that they are safe."
Weindel said the Virginia shooting strengthened her resolve to keep her reporters in western Montana safe.
"This experience will play a part in where we send our news crews,"Weindel said. "If we feel we're sending a person to a place that may not be the safest, we do one of two things. "We send someone with them, or we don't send them. I tell my reporters 'there is no story worth your safety', we're not going to compromise their safety for a news story."